If you’ve never been in a situation where you needed to think and act quickly, then you probably don’t need 12 survival tips for when it feels like you’re drowning. But unfortunately, it happens to a lot of people. And while sometimes they think they have all the tools and skills necessary to overcome the problem, they end up panicking. This results in them making mistakes that can turn things in their opposite direction, from getting rescued to death.

The Time to Get Ready: You need to be fully prepared before you get into a situation like this. You should have a first aid kit, water, a way to purify water, and other items that you may need depending on what’s going on. Learn to breathe with both your mouth and your nose and pay attention to exactly how your body is reacting. When you’re in water and you feel like you’re losing control, then you need to start breathing with your chest rather than your stomach. This way, you’ll keep yourself stable as you struggle with the current.

The Right Clothing: It might sound obvious, but this is something that a lot of people just forget about. First aid kits don’t care if you’re wearing shorts or pants, tank tops or t-shirts, or any other kind of attire. However, remember that flammable liquids evaporate a lot faster in water, so you should dress in layers. You also need clothing that will allow you to float (freeze). If at all possible, it’s a good idea to wear gloves and mittens, as well as a respirator if the water level is going to be elevated.

Getting Down Close: As soon as you come into contact with water, you need to change out of your flotation device and hang onto objects that will help you stay afloat. Things like a life jacket, a tow rope, and buoyant item that will assist you if you sink. Hang onto rocks, logs, or other items nearby to use as an anchor. It doesn’t matter where you choose to dive from, just make sure that you have an alternative to hanging onto whatever you can.

Water Purification Tips: Your body is perfectly capable of cleansing itself of most chemicals in the water. However, if the water is contaminated with pathogens or bacteria, then you need to sanitize yourself. Use a high quality filter and sanitizer as soon as you come in contact with the water. You don’t necessarily need to go the route of chlorine, but it’s often an option. Additionally, if you’re not sure whether or not a water purification product will work for you, ask around with local health departments.

Water Safety Tips: The bottom line is this: If you’re going to be in the water, you need to wear some kind of safety gear! Whether it’s a life jacket goggles, or waterproof footwear, if you are exposed to water for prolonged periods of time, you need to protect yourself. Take into account that water that is too cold or hot can cause hypothermia and serious injury. Therefore, it’s important that you take the time to pack a warm jacket, a pair of goggles, a wet suit, and so forth.

Get Medical Help: If you encounter any kind of injury, whether it be a broken bone cuts, or bruises, get medical help right away. The longer you wait to seek out help, the more severe the injury can get. Also, if you have reason to believe you might contract an illness while you’re underwater, get yourself swabbed with a bacterial mask to prevent the spread of germs.

These 12 survival tips should help anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they may have to go swimming. While water itself is generally safe, it can still be dangerous, and therefore it is always important to exercise caution. And above all else, remember to swim the “fishing-in” and follow all of the safety guidelines and recommendations given out by your parents. They came up with these tips themselves, after all, and you should too!

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